Saturday, January 28, 2012

50 Reasons of Love

Happy Pink Saturday!
Found this heart at Walgreens, they were 2/$8.00.


A request arrived to ask me to talk about the jar on my Valentine's Day tablescape, delighted to explain. Don't you love this Day? It is the best time to focus on the ones we love and show them; candy, flowers, messages on pillows... and the best gifts are the ones from our heart. This Valentine's Day gift jar for my husband , made last year, has become part of our Holiday decor. He loves it and has read each note over again. The notes inside include messages of his greatness as a father, his faith, our experiences over the last 25 years, his forgiving nature, wisdom, and enduring qualities , and so on...50 was just the starting point for this ongoing project, the jar will have 25 MORE reasons inside this Valentine's Day. It's easy to write them if you think of them in topics. ex: the time he took you fishing, his volunteerisms, driving vacations with kids in the car, the little things that go unnoticed each day...  He 'll be surprised and who wouldn't be happy to read how appreciated for their daily choices to make their family happy. This year I am planning to do something similar for our children (they are in college). While I have the words all put together, I haven't figured out the presentation for them a jar like their fathers or some other idea. Any suggestions?? Happy Valentines Day to you!!

Some have stick figure drawings...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scooby loves Winter!

Noble Scooby is happiest when the air grabs a chill. When sounds are still, he walks the perimeter of freewill. Joining Outdoor Wednesday & Wordless Wednesday

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentine lollies

Milk Chocolate lollies

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I have been busy making chocolate heart pops, chocolate covered pretzels, and heart shaped sugar cookies for our school Bake Sale. The profits will support "Pennies for Pasta", a national fund raiser help raise money for the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society. The charity lends financial support to area families who have children afflicted with the disease. Plenty of month long plans..wish us luck! Happy Valentines Day! xo

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Morning! It was one of those mornings...too little sleep the night before, woke up way too early, and had to leave by 7am. It started when I opened the front door to peek at the weather and Scooby, decided to take himself for a leash, cars leaving for work, black ice to slip on, 34 degrees.. you get it...the adrenaline impossible things before breakfast..
1) Capture Scooby (no coat)
2) Convince him that the house was the happiest place on Earth and he should be INSIDE! Guiding him by his collar and trying NOT to slip.
3) Repair my daughter's coffee pot handle with a butter knife
4) Fix lock so kids can use their key again to get in before I get home from work...(vegetable spray and some jiggling )
5) Get the CD player to work so I could play it at school.(next kitchen tool:the spatula,plastic of plays)
6) Button cracked as husband was getting ready (quickly sewn and pret a porter!)
7) Fix wheel on trash can so it rolls out easily. (hello butter knife)

Once inside look who fell asleep!
 Thats it! I ate my oatmeal and left. That was my morning and I arrived to work by 7:30, on time.
 We women are amazing creatures..accomplishing so much and rolling with it! What did your day hold? Post

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cookie Exchange 2011

Our Cookie Exchange 2011 theme was "Comfort and Joy"

Mixed cookie tins ready for delivery

Adding to the fun we had a secret slipper exchange. Look at those toasty tootsies!
  This year's (11th ) cookie exchange was the least planned yet one of the nicest! The group was 8 this year, a manageable baking for the working girls. Normally, I plan each minute detail , but therewasn't time...just goes to show the party is within the spirit! Altho, good food, and a few touches add to the festivites. I host a cookie exchange with a purpose; each baking elf is asked to bring one extra dozen to donate to our community. Our family, friends , and co-workers are a most generous group. After each exchange my daughter and I make trays, toss on Santa hats, and hitch up the Camry. We deliver them to our seniors..families...shut way of our food bank or other organizations; each year has a different group. many of the "Baking Elves" have returned annually for the event. As a thank you, each guest goes home with an ornament commemorating the theme. Unable to find slippers, I gave feathered angel wings, found at Pier One, with a message that each baker was earning their wings. Then, about every 15 minutes a bell chimed to remind them that their baking efforts was helping bring a little cheer to others. Looking forward to next season.
Linking with Metamophoses Monday, Foodie Friday,

 The Menu included:
Beef n Bleu Minis :
 Roast Beef Thin sliced
Saute sweet onions
Mix 1 sm cream cheese, 4T bleu cheese, 2t worchester
assemble and eat warmed or chilled
finger foods with dips, fruited punch
Russian Teacakes

Creme Wafers

Chocolate Pecan Carmel

Ladylocks out of the oven

Belinger Brod

Saturday, January 14, 2012

12 Days of Cookies!

Although I have years of baking behind me, this year I have had an awful year with one of my favorite Christmas cookies. The culprits: my creme wafers . Bought fresh ingredients, twice, yet the same problem happened. The wafers puffed too high. I rolled the dough , as I usually did..even used those 1/8th inch  rubberbands on the edge of my rolling pin..sigh...Nontheless, some were adorable and all were quite tasty, despite their physical appearance. Like all families, a few new recipes, but most are family annual faves.
Day 1 : Iced Shortbreads 
Day 2 : Butter Hearts
Day 3 : Pa Rhum Pum Pum Pums (Rhum Balls)
Day 4: Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprises 
Day 5: Peanut Kisses 
Day 6 : Thumbprints;Butter cream ,Apricot,&Blueberry 
Day 7: Lady Locks (pic didn't load) 
Day 8: Chocolate Truffles 
Day 8: Snowmen cutouts and sugar cookies 
Day 9: Anise, Lemon, and Almond Pizzelles 
Day 10: Jess's Ginger guys 
Day 11: Peanut Butter Fudge & Kitchen Sink Bars (they didn't photograph well but tasted good :)
Day 12 : Russian Teacakes (oops forgot to take a pic)
Despite all the baking,I host an annual Cookie Exchange too. ..more later...Happy New Year!
Linking with Foodie Friday, Metamophoses Monday

American Authors , more good reads

 Celebrating American authors this season, here are a few reads I have enjoyed in the last several weeks.
An Amish Christmas , a heartwarming story about a modern family living in Charleston, South Carolina,  face financial devastation find themselves thrown back in time after their automobile and a buggy get into an accident late one night.  The author, Cynthia Keller,  pens a compassionate story of forgiveness and social acceptance among the characters. It's the kind of book that when you finish the last words and close the book, you sigh and smile. I found myself looking for another book centering around the Amish and the "English" . I found a book by novelist, Beverly Lewis; The Telling. It turned out to be the 3rd in a series, yet I found it easy to understand without having read the two that came before it. The wholesome charcters are honest and down to Earth . The storyline was easy to follow, yet had depth, and an unexpected twist. Interesting and offers a view of an Amish lifesyle.

 My next read was Danielle Steel's , A Good Woman. Can I say I loved this story?! The heroine, Anabelle Worthington, has lost her father and fiance in the tragedy of the Titanic, her new marriage is lie, she loses her mother, her friends,and all that she has known. From the turn of the century socialite's life to the perils of WWI Anabelle struggles to become a doctor. The are times when the circumstances seem extraordinary until you remember that it is the early 1900s, when women lived by an unbalanced code of morality and ethics. I enjoy Danielle Steel's books and have taken one to read every summer we vacation. This is exceptional and if only reading one of her books, try this one!

      The Invention of Hugo Cabret , Brian Selznick, my next adventure in reading was unusual, in that the illustrations are just as much a part of the story as the words themselves. Known as a children's book, it is an exciting adventure for anyone to read. It is heartwarming and I found myself being amazed at the spirit of the children in the story. The Caldecott Award winner depicts a young boy, living behind the "walls" of a Paris train station. He is left alone, to continue keeping the clocks working secretly, when his father dies unexpectedly and mysteriously. Loved it and recommending it to children and the young at heart!
Out of time...back soon with the rest of my reads...